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680 reference or 680 Classified 4GB, keep 2500k/P67, or go 3570k/Z

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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July 2, 2012 12:51:46 AM

Currently have an EVGA 580 Classified 3GB paired with a 2500k@4.4Ghz on an AsRock P67 mobo. I qualify for EVGA step up program, so I think we all agree I should step up ( for 0 cost to me ) to a 680 reference card. However, I recently added 2 more 24" monitors to my existing one, and I think I'd like to play Shogun2, Skyrim, BF3, Diablo3 and MassEffect3 on a triple monitor setup at 5760x1080.

My questions are:
Will the single 680 reference card be enough, or should I buy a second one?

Is the 2GB Vram on the reference cards enough for the games listed above at 5760x1080 or should I get 1 or 2 EVGA 680 Classifieds 4GB? ( I cannot step up to a 680 Classified, I'd have to take the reference one and sell it for cash ).

Regardless of WHICH 680 I get, reference or classified, am I okay to continue to use the 2500k I currently have, or should I upgrade to Ivy Bridge for PCIe 3.0? Even if I get the Ivy, can I still keep my p67 board, or would I be better suited to get a Z77 chipset? Heeeeeeelp.

Full spec:
CPU: Intel Core i5 2500k @4.4Ghz
CPU Cooler: Thermalright UltraCopper 120
MOBO: AsRock Extreme4 Gen3 P67
RAM: G.Skill Ripjawsx 8GB 2x4GB @2133Mhz
SSD: 2 x 128GB Crucial m4 in RAID 0
HDD: 2 x Western Digital Caviar Black 2 TB in RAID 1
GPU's: EVGA 580 Classified Ultra 3GB ( in step up process with EVGA to 680 reference card )
PSU: Corsair AX1200 Gold, Modular.
CASE: Coolermaster Cosmos II
DISPLAY: 3 x Asus 242H 23.6" @ 1920 x 1080 each, 5760 x 1080 tripled.

Side question, are there benchmarks for 680 reference vs 680 Classified 4GB at 5760x1080? Can't seem to find any.
Also, I am very familiar with the microstutter for SLI with Geforce 5XX product line, is the situation improved at all with the 6XX series?
July 2, 2012 2:53:21 AM

If it were me i would get another 580 3gb and go SLI ( i dont know what your talking about with 5 series stutter issues as i have two 580s and have no stuttering problems), thats going to handle that resolution much MUCH better than a single 680 ever will, and no upgrading your platform would be a waste of money
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July 2, 2012 2:55:21 AM

there are reviews that say there's no difference between 2gb and 4gb. You should definitely keep your 2500k, and I would say get the 2gb 680. SLI is bad.
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July 2, 2012 2:57:22 AM

lmulder said:
there are reviews that say there's no difference between 2gb and 4gb. You should definitely keep your 2500k, and I would say get the 2gb 680. SLI is bad.


says someone whos probably never run SLI or didnt have the capacity to set it up right

and also dont listen to someone who thinks that 2gb vram isnt going to choke at that resolution, oviously has no idea what hes talking about

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July 2, 2012 3:07:28 AM

there is no way im going to keep the 580 when I can upgrade to a 680 at no cost thru EVGA step up. And if I were to buy a second card, why would I buy a second 580 to SLI when I can get a 680 for less $ ($500 for 680 reference, vs $540 for 580 Classy 3GB which is also discontinued btw), and just SLI it with the 680 I got for free from EVGA step up. Question becomes, what is the real world difference between 2x680 reference and 2x680 Classified 4GB at 5760x1080? ( preferrably with high levels of AA) I don't mind spending the $, I just don't want to spend it if I won't see real gains.

- before the 580 I had 2x560Tis in SLI and the microstutter drove me crazy, thats why I traded up to a more powerful single card.
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July 2, 2012 3:54:24 AM

go read all the techreport.com reviews and look at their frame time charts. buy a 680. sheesh.
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Best solution

July 2, 2012 3:55:26 AM

and like i said, there still isn't one review out there, even at your resolution, that states that there is any benefit whatsoever going to 4gb from 2gb of vram.
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July 2, 2012 11:32:01 AM

lmulder said:
and like i said, there still isn't one review out there, even at your resolution, that states that there is any benefit whatsoever going to 4gb from 2gb of vram.


^ +1

I have yet to see a benchmark that proved that the 4GB is better than the 2GB in higher resolutions.
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July 2, 2012 11:55:30 AM

any one who thinks 4gb is better than 2gb please come with benchmarks.
@OP,a single 680 is NOT enough for that resolution.your best bet is to get 2x 670s and overclock the hell outta them.
for gaming,2500k is still the best gaming cpu IMO.
here you can see that 670 SLi will do fine with a 3 monitor setup-
http://www.evga.com/forums/tm.aspx?m=1625084&mpage=1
almost every required info you will get there including fps rates,memory consumption and all.
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July 9, 2012 4:36:15 PM

Best answer selected by jadedmonkey.
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